The House Speaker labeling the opposition “the greatest threat to national security” in front of the secret service, has led to harsh reactions. Opposition politicians drew a parallel with the Pegasus case and agree that László Kövér must leave politics.
Parties: Putinist methods once again, Kövér beyond all democratic limits
Democratic Coalition (DK) demands Kövér to apologize to millions of Hungarians, arguing that the fact that he “provides National Security Service heads with a ‘shooting permit’ for his political opponents is beyond all democratic limits.” The leftist party says the leaked recording “is yet more proof that the use of Pegasus spy software and the scandalous wiretapping was decided by the Fidesz top leadership.”
András Fekete-Győr also drew a parallel between Kövér’s statement and the Pegasus spyware, suggesting that it might have been the House Speaker who gave the order for the surveillance. Momentum’s outgoing president also points out that Kövér isn’t directly linked to the special services, so it is “completely incomprehensible” on what grounds he held a briefing for them, explaining that “Kövér put the opposition on the same shelf as terrorists and traitors, which is completely incompatible with his office and an apology is no longer a solution.” In addition, he also violated the law by encouraging the secret services to act against the opposition in a multiparty state.
According to independent lawmaker, Ákos Hadházy, Kövér’s statements are yet another example that Viktor Orbán and his system copies Putin’s “methods of the road from democracy to dictatorship (…) By now this has come to a point where he is openly spying on independent journalists and the opposition from abroad. The only difference between the two regimes is that it is not the increased oil revenues that he has stolen, but the EU subsidies that have fallen into their laps, which he stole through his appointed ‘big entrepreneurs.’
Independent MP, Bernadett Szél, thinks that for Kövér, the regime change never happened, his statements are unconstitutional and illegal, and “they express the desire to exclusively hold power in contrast to multi-party representative democracy.”
Jobbik president, Péter Jakab, argues that “nothing is sacred for them but the Party,” explaining that “…this is the way it is in a (single) party-state, of course, but in the meantime Kövér and his pals are still lying to us about some regime change … It seems that the real regime change is waiting for us- for those of us, who despite their differences, have united for the sake of the nation, in order to reunite it.”
Opposition alliance: Kövér must go
The allied opposition cooperation not only wants Kövér’s departure but also demands answers to how, and in what capacity he could have held a speech for the secret services.
In their opinion, “it is shocking and unacceptable that the president of the National Assembly and the president of Fidesz’s electoral committee would encourage the heads of the national security services to violate the law and the constitutional duty of their services, when he identifies the opposition as the most serious threat to national security, expecting them to be ‘eliminated.'”
In addition, “Kövér’s words may also serves as indirect evidence in the ‘Pegasus-gate,’ when the Israeli spyware developed to combat terrorism and crime, was purchased by the Hungarian state and used to monitor opposition figures: politicians, journalists, media owners, civilians, activists. Let’s be clear: with his speech, László Kövér is also inciting against millions of Hungarian citizens opposed to the Orbán regime,” according to their joint statement, concluding that:
“Based on the facts of the Pegasus scandal, the dirtiest domestic scandal of the last 30 years, Viktor Orbán and his government are unworthy to represent the citizens of Hungary, and László Kövér has no place in Hungarian public life.”
Opposition promises to handle secret services differently
The opposition cooperation’s PM candidate has also condemned Kövér and wants his departure from public life. Zoltán Kész, board member of Péter Márki-Zay’s Everybody’s Hungary Movement (MMM), also spoke about how they will deal with their opposition and the secret services if they win the elections. “We will never declare any elected representative to be the main enemy of the country and we will certainly never put any pressure on the secret services to act against them,” Kész promised, adding that they would listen to their opposition, incorporate their useful suggestions into the government, and help them to carry out their duties as MPs.
featured image via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI